With the season starting to wind down, tattoos are getting a little harder to come by in a world that is increasingly obsessed with fashion and celebrity.
But there are some places out there that still offer a good alternative, like the tattoo parlor on South Lamar in Austin, Texas, and the bike shop of choice.
“We’re the bike shops, and we’re the only bike shops in town,” said Jessica Lueber, the owner of Ink & Gun Tattoo Shop, which opened in June.
She’s been in the business since 2009 and started with just three customers when she opened her shop in October.
The business has since expanded to 10 locations and she plans to keep it going with a full roster of customers.
“I was thinking, this is the place I want to do this,” she said.
She started out by giving her customers a quick overview of her business.
“When you’re in the tattoo business, you’re constantly in the process of finding a partner,” she explained.
“Then, once you’ve got the partner, you go to work on the client.”
That’s what I like to do, which is to have someone come in and I’ll take my pencil, and I just start drawing.
“When she first opened the shop, she was on a tight schedule because of the summer, but she quickly found herself coming up with new ways to make money.”
It was a lot of fun, but the thing that really caught my attention was the work I did in my spare time,” she added.
She said she would take up drawing a few weeks later and then she would stop and think, “is this really necessary?””
It’s kind of like having an apartment, but it’s more luxurious and more fun,” she admitted.
The business has quickly become a popular place to go for tattoo parlors and has even been a hub for local artists and tattooists, including Austin’s own Austin Baroque artist Jase.
For me, it’s been a way to get a better balance of time with my clients and get a little bit of time away from work,” she continued.”
We have a lot more artists coming in because of our proximity to downtown Austin, and they are able to work with us more quickly,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
“For me, it’s been a way to get a better balance of time with my clients and get a little bit of time away from work,” she continued.
Lueber also sells her art on Etsy, a popular platform where artists sell their work for a monthly fee.
Her customers can get a tattoo and then have it shipped to them within 24 hours.
“It’s a great way to connect with people,” she remarked.
While she admits she’s still getting paid in cash, the shop is able to pay its employees through credit cards and she said the customers are grateful for the money they get.
“The employees love it,” she noted.
“I know that’s not an easy thing to say but the employees love that.”
The tattoo shop has since become a favorite hangout for the many people who work at Ink & Guns, which have become a go-to destination for the tattoo industry.
“Every year, the number of people that come in is really surprising, because it’s a business that you have to keep up with,” Luebber said.
“There’s always a little more people coming in, but we do keep it to about 10 people per month,” she concluded.
“The staff are very supportive and they love the work that we do.”
The owners say they have been able to attract new customers by focusing on the creative side of their business, which means there are no wait times for customers.
They also said they have a great relationship with local artists, which has made them a popular destination for many Austin artists.